ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — An Enfield man is now facing charges after police said he used a racial slur and threatened to shoot a 14-year-old Black boy who was fundraising for his football team.
Police initially said there was no probable cause to make an arrest after the incident happened in August, but after the boy’s mother watched body camera footage where the man reportedly admitted to threatening to shoot her son, she asked police this month to press charges.
In August, officers responded to Haynes Street after hearing that a small red car was following three Black boys around a neighborhood, according to an arrest warrant. One of the boys then said that a person had threatened to shoot him.
The boys were going door-to-door fundraising for the Enfield High School football team and were wearing jerseys with the school’s name on them.
The boy said that he had approached a truck in a driveway when he heard shouting, heard slurs, and threats, and then walked away with his hands up, according to the warrant.
One of the residents in the home told police that she was scared when she saw the boy approach her truck and thought he was going to take a flag off it, according to the warrant. She told police that the boys “should be more identifiable,” according to the police report, and that “three black males walking around the street is kind of scary.”
While she did have a “no soliciting sign,” the warrant notes that it was hard to see it from the driveway.
After the woman in the home yelled at the boy, Christopher Oliver, who was in the house, told the boy to get off the property. While being interviewed by police, Oliver reportedly admitted to using a racial slur multiple times. When asked if he threatened to shoot the teen, he said “No, I did say it, but I don’t own any guns,” according to the warrant.
This summer, Superintendent Christopher Drezek condemned what happened in a letter.
“I want to be crystal clear on this part – there is no place in our schools, our town, or quite frankly, this country for what happened to one of our students this weekend,” he wrote. “Although this did not happen in a school, it happened to one of our kids during a fundraiser for one of our athletic teams. This type of behavior is not only unacceptable but also repulsive. I know I speak for the district, the Board of Education, and the Town Council when I say there is no tolerance for racism, bigotry, or discrimination against anyone in the town of Enfield.”
The district had resources available for students on Friday.
Kelley Jackson, the boy’s mother, said the arrest should have been made two-and-a-half months ago.
While she’s happy about the charges, she does not think they’re strong enough. She plans to go to the state capital to strengthen laws.
“At least puts it out there what he did,” she said. “Unfortunately, it is a slap on the wrist. I think Connecticut needs to get a little more tighter with their hate crimes.”
Oliver is facing charges of breach of peace and second-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias.
News 8 went to the house Friday. Oliver’s mother came to the door and said her son is innocent and that he had comment.